Emmeline Pankhurst


Emmeline Pankhurst lived from 1858 to 1928 in England.  Best known as a suffragette who helped women win the right to vote, she was identified by TIME magazine as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century.  

Having learned about the suffrage movement in her early teens, it soon became the cause she would dedicate herself to.  At the age of 21 she married her husband, Richard, a lawyer and strong supporter of women’s rights. He supported Emmeline’s political efforts throughout their marriage, despite their having 5 children.

Early in the 20th century Emmeline Pankhurst founded the Women's Social and Political Union which was a suffrage advocacy organization that became known for being very militant. Within a few years members, including Emmeline and her daughters, had even been arrested and imprisoned. When World War I broke out, she changed the tactics of the organization, encouraging women to join the war effort, and in 1918, after the war, women over 30 were granted the right to vote. 10 years later, just a few weeks before her death, the vote was extended to women at the same voting age as men, 21.